Delwyn Tuanui studies Agribusiness at Marcus Oldham College in Geelong and has his eyes focused on a future that is tied to Chatham Islands where he grew up.
It’s a future where produce from the remote Chatham Islands will have a reputation for exceptional quality and will be the envy of other Australian and New Zealand regions.
Delwyn grew up on the Chatham Islands, 800km east of Christchurch, New Zealand where he has been involved in his family’s sheep and beef property in addition to fisheries interests.
With a population of approximately 600 people, the Chatham Islands counts agriculture and fishing as its main industries.
Delwyn worked for a couple of years after completing secondary school at Hawkes Bay on the New Zealand mainland. He found himself wondering why the livestock and seafood products from the Chatham Islands were processed and marketed in New Zealand as New Zealand produce with no acknowledgement of the Islands’ contribution to the production.
Delwyn thought there was an opportunity to market all the produce with a distinctive Chatham Islands brand identity but didn’t know where to begin.
Delwyn decided he needed to further his education to learn more about business management, risk management and marketing, following which he enrolled in Agribusiness at Marcus Oldham College.
He was also awarded one of the College’s Yulgibar Scholarships, given to students to pursue personal industry or community interests in Australia and overseas.
Delwyn says he chose Marcus Oldham because of the smaller class sizes and the excellent course subjects. Though he enrolled for the one-year Diploma of Agribusiness in 2009, he has decided to continue and complete a 3-year Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness) degree.
He adds that a tertiary qualification is important and the course content is relevant to the changing agricultural environment. He is particularly focusing on international marketing and even had the opportunity of a study tour to China, Hong Kong and Macau in 2009.
Delwyn is already putting some of his experiences and education into practice, trialing small shipments of Chatham Islands seafood at a number of high-end restaurants in Melbourne.
Satisfied by the response, he plans to extend the range to other products in addition to marketing beef, lamb, crayfish, abalone and fish from the Chatham Islands under a regional brand, which would be associated with the Island’s reputation of quality and freshness from a natural, clean environment.
Marcus Oldham College offers the one-year Diploma of Agribusiness, the two-year Associate Degree of Agribusiness and the three-year Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness) courses.